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Woman, daughter severely burned in 'freak accident' involving tree stump fire

By Carter Williams, KSL.com | Posted - Oct 3rd, 2018 @ 9:47pm


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LAS VEGAS — A southern Utah mother and her daughter are recovering from severe burns they suffered while the family disposed of a tree stump with diesel fuel. Now she’s warning others to use caution while using that popular, but dangerous method.

Jasmine Bartschi, of Central, Washington County, said she, her brother-in-law and daughter were injured Sept. 21 when fumes from diesel fuel being poured on a tree stump in their backyard ignited. Bartschi and her 2-year-old daughter, Bryztol, were burned the worst and taken by ambulance to Dixie Regional Medical Center. They were then flown to a burn unit at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.

Jasmine had skin graft surgery Saturday, again this week, and may have more surgeries in the coming weeks as she recovers from severe burns to her legs and left hand, she said. Bryztol is recovering at home in Utah with second-degree burns to her cheek and ankles, according to her father, Karson Bartschi.

“She’s home and she’s healing. I’m healing, just a little bit slower,” Jasmine said.

Sitting at the hospital Monday, Jasmine recalled what happened. She said she, Karson and her brother-in-law had been working to re-landscape their Central home for the past few weeks. They had cut down a small tree in the family’s backyard and soaked it in diesel during the project.

On Sept. 21, they lit the stump to trim is low enough for it to be covered with grass. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at first.

“The flames were small, it was smaller than a regular campfire,” Jasmine Bartschi recalled. “We were all standing, my kids were just playing and standing back from the fire.”

She said she doesn’t know how long it had been burning when it started to fizzle out. Karsen Bartschi poured a little bit of diesel on it about four times during the evening and nothing much happened. On the fifth time, it ignited.

“We don’t know what happened,” Jasmine Bartschi said, motioning with her hands that some sort of explosion had happened. “I got most of the burns, my brother-in-law got burned a little bit … and (Bryztol) got burned.”

A GoFundMe* page was set up to help cover the medical expenses for Jasmine and Bryztol Bartschi.

The practice of lighting diesel to burn a tree stump is rather popular. Several blog posts and YouTube videos can be found in a simple online search, although it’s not listed as a preferred method by top specialists.

Jasmine Bartschi said she urges others to not get comfortable if it appears the flames are small.

“I don’t think burning a tree stump with diesel is bad, necessarily. A lot of people do it, but I just want people to be cautious,” she said. “Don’t get comfortable with it because freak accidents happen.”

Contributing: Marc Weaver, KSL TV

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Editor's note: The attached photo gallery contain pictures Jasmine Bartschi's burned legs and hand. Viewer discretion is advised.

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*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Carter Williams

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Updated: Sunday November 18, 2018 10:36 pm